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Store battles to survive after facing tax bill

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

  • Denis Baker (far right) along with shop and customers are worried about the future of the facility.

  • FACING THREAT: Blisland Community Association treasurer, Arthur Ludgate, and vice-chairman, Denis Baker, front, with concerned staff and customers.

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A BATTLE has begun to save a vital village store which has been hit by a government tax demand.

Blisland Post Office and Shop has in the past qualified for 100 per cent business rate relief, but now that has been cut to 50 per cent.

The Blisland Community Association, which runs the shop, now faces a bill of up to £4,000 a year to keep it open.

Association vice-chairman, Denis Baker, said the money would be impossible to find, and he is rallying the community to mount a campaign to save the village facility.

Mr Baker said: "The shop has been running successfully for eight years now, but it doesn't make a real profit at all. The village supports the shop and post office as much as it can, but it isn't run to make money.

"Now we are facing a business rate bill of somewhere between £3,000 and £4,000, and that is simply not payable.''

Mr Baker has contacted two Inland Revenue departments to query the tax demand, and both assured him that the store was now liable to pay business rates.

Mr Baker said he would be approaching local MP, Dan Rogerson, and Cornwall Council in a bid to find a way forward.

"The association employs six local ladies part-time to run the shop. The post office and shop is run for the benefit of the people of Blisland and the surrounding area, not to be a business that makes money.

"It has been very difficult over recent years to make ends meet, but just as we have turned a corner to make it financially viable, we have been hit by a demand that will destroy it.

"We are determined to keep the shop open, but we will have a hell of a fight on our hands,'' he said.

Mr Baker and his association are to hold a crisis meeting very shortly, where they will be inviting Mr Rogerson, Cornwall councillor for Blisland Chris Batters, and others to attend.

Mr Batters said this week he would do all he could to save the shop from closure.

"The shop and post office is a superb facility for Blisland and the wider area and has been held up as a wonderful community project.

"I will be doing everything to support Denis and the association to try and keep the shop open, including speaking to Dan Rogerson."

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2 comments

  • JeremyBadger  |  March 12 2014, 10:11PM

    £4,000, that's just about the same amount as the subsidy given to the Airport for 6 hours!

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  • josdave  |  March 12 2014, 8:41AM

    If Cornwall Council did not waste so much money and instead looked after those of us who pay their wages maybe this would not be happening. Scrap giving public money to private enterprises like Eden and the airport and use it for essentials.

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